Liverpool went to League One side Shrewsbury in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday and gave up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2, meaning a replay is needed.
Shrewsbury 2-2 Liverpool
FA Cup Fourth Round, New Meadow
January 26, 2020
Goals: Cummings pen 65′ 75′; Jones 14′, Love (OG) 46′
Adrian – 8 (Man of the Match)
The Spaniard read the game well to rush out and clear one ball over the top, then midway through the first half showed superb judgement to save a one-on-one with an outstretched foot.
Had a few moments after the break to deal with too, mostly as a result of his defensive team-mates being sloppy in possession. Beaten by a penalty and a near-post finish.
That he was man of the match, shows how badly the rest performed.
Neco Williams – 7
Tremendous quality with his delivery again, with one early cross almost gifting Minamino a first goal for the Reds. Showed his defensive tenacity too with a thunderous challenge soon after.
Always available on the overlap and passed nicely into the feet of Minamino, Elliott and Co.
Started the second half with a half-decent cross which ended up as an assist, with ex-Man United youth player Donald Love scoring a thoroughly unnecessary own goal.
Joel Matip – 4
Both centre-backs returned from injury for this game; Matip stuttered a couple of times and looked a little uncertain on the ball early on, possibly due to the bobbly pitch as much as his own rhythm.
Once or twice a little deeper than his team-mates to play Shrews’ attackers onside, too.
The hope would have been that he improved after the break as he got a few minutes in his legs, but if anything it was the reverse, with some dreadful passing out of the back and misjudgements in his positional work.
Lost a key header for the equaliser and subbed off soon after, possibly with a niggle.
Dejan Lovren – 4
While Matip seemed to take a while to settle, Lovren looked pretty much as he always does from the off: aggressive, always eager to be on the front foot and jump in to stop danger from forming, combative in one-on-ones.
Didn’t get every challenge right and sometimes made a bit of a mess as he charged into headers among a cluster of players, but largely sorted out any issues down his side at the second or third attempt.
Second half was chaotic from the stand-in skipper though and his attempted challenge for the equalising goal was terrible.
Needed more composure and leadership from players like Lovren and Liverpool didn’t get it.
Yasser Larouci – 5
Got forward with energy and intent, but not much quality in the first half.
Had one good surge forward on the dribble after the break, but had no end product with a pass or shot.
A couple of good recovery runs thanks to his pace, but then conceded a penalty – which should only have been a free-kick outside the box – just after the hour mark.
Fabinho – 5
A first post-injury start for Fabinho, too, and in keeping with his late cameo against Wolves, some of his on-the-ball work was slightly off-kilter in the first 45.
Smashed a ‘pass’ to Matip about 40 yards behind him to concede a corner right before the break, to underline that point.
Went back to central defence late in the game. Best thing to say about his performance is that he got 90 minutes in his legs.
Pedro Chirivella – 6
Superb through-ball for the opening goal and showed his usual good range of passing throughout.
Not as domineering defensively as we’d have liked once Shrewsbury decided to get on the ball and attack in the second half.
Curtis Jones – 7
Got to love having him making those runs from deeper areas – superb movement and a left-footed finish for his second-ever Liverpool goal, a lovely early birthday present.
Showed good work rate and defensive covering down the left too, though. Almost scored a second late-on from close range.
Harvey Elliott – 5
A low-key first half where he struggled to find either the space to work his usual cutting-in magic, or the strength to beat the giant who was marking him.
Looked frustrated a lot of the time after losing possession and this will have been an instructive outing for him: other solutions are sometimes needed to speed and dribbling.
Least-impressive of his outings so far, which won’t be a problem in the slightest if he learns from the game.
Divock Origi – 5
Quiet in the first half, alternating between a starting point from the left and his regular, but unrewarded, runs central.
Finally came to life on 70 minutes when he went through the middle; fizzed in a 30-yard shot which was saved and another from an angle into the side-netting.
Takumi Minamino – 5
Good movement and lots of work rate, but still looks a little off-the-tempo in terms of his combination play and knowing which runs will be made by his team-mates.
One snap-shot flew off-target just before the break when he might have done better.
Didn’t really get much involvement second half, no surprise when he was subbed off.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Elliott, 70′) – 6
Straight over to the left after coming on, which might be a hint as to who replaces Mane in that role against West Ham. Fired a free-kick wide but that was about it.
Mohamed Salah (on for Matip, 78′) – 6
Klopp probably didn’t want to make this sub, but wanted a replay even less. Headed wide in the last minute.
Roberto Firmino (on for Minamino, 85′) – 7
Not much time to impact, but still did more than most. One effort off the line, plus the cross for Salah.
Unused subs: Kelleher, Hoever, Alexander-Arnold, Keita
Jurgen Klopp – 7
A nicely balanced team with returning seniors and impressive youngsters, asking them to set up in the usual 4-3-3 in possession and more of a 4-4-2 off the ball, with Jones and Elliott the wider midfield players.
Constantly barking at his players in the second half to be better on the ball and looked his trademark frustrated/amused self as the home side put the Reds under pressure after the penalty.
Had to make subs he didn’t want to but the scoreline was more about the players on the pitch than anything Klopp did. Nobody made a compelling case to come into Liverpool’s Premier League lineup, let’s put it that way.
He will not be happy about the replay disrupting the winter break, and has his players to thank for that.